Four Vietnamese men were charged yesterday with obstructing the work of police officers and threatening to beat them in anger over the closure of their fish-farming operation on a state lake.
Captain Mao Leang, Prek Pnov district penal police officer, said those charged were Ho Yainghong, 52; Nguven Yaingdang, 34; Choeung Voeunglin, 29; and Yor Taing Toeung, 28. All were fish-farmers in Prek Pnov commune, in Phnom Penh’s Prek Phnov district.
Cap Leang said that they were charged by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutor with obstruction of public officials. They face up to a year in jail each and a fine up to about $500 each if convicted.
He said that at about 3.30pm on Friday, police inspected the accused’s fish-farming areas which had been constructed in Samrong lake in Prek Phnov district and which were on prohibited public land.
He said after the inspection, police tried to confiscate their farming materials. But the accused did not allow police to seize the material and tried to attack police, leading to the arrests.
“When we ordered them to move their fish-farming materials out from the lake, they did not do it,” Cap Leng said.
“But when police seized them, they obstructed the police,” he added. “ They also threatened to beat our police officers.”
Prek Phnov district police chief Colonel Chhin Kimthuy said Samrong lake is state’s property and under the protection of a 1995 Royal decree.
Colonel Kimthuy said the four accused had illegally constructed their fish-farming grounds on Samrong lake last year.
He said after police found out about it, officers ordered them to move their fish-farming material from the lake many times, but they did not obey.
“They were arrested because they were not afraid of the law,” he said.
He added police had earlier given them a 30-day notice to move their farming materials from the lake.
They have been sent to prison pending their trial.